honda's 2019 model-year refresh for the popular civic now hits the sportier civic si, albeit in pared-down form. call it a skinny refresh: available as a coupe or sedan, the refreshed si gets updated cabin controls but no significant styling changes or safety upgrades — both of which came on lesser civic grades for 2019. in turn, however, the si avoids the substantial price bump of its siblings.
the 2019 civic si goes on sale nov. 1. both body styles start at $25,195, including a destination charge, up just $200 versus the 2018 civic si. that's a far smaller increase than on most lesser civic grades, some of which increased by more than $1,000 for 2019.
unlike the non-si civic sedan and coupe, styling on the civic si carries over for 2019. both si body styles have the same gaping three-portal front bumper with circular foglights in the outboard sections; that's a larger differentiator now versus non-si grades, which adopted a single, wider opening for 2019. in back, the si coupe gets a higher trunk spoiler and small outboard bumper portals. the sedan has taller portals but a shorter spoiler, while both body styles still employ a center-mounted tailpipe.
the big news inside is that si grades, like higher trim levels of the regular civic, add physical stereo buttons and a volume knob — heretofore missing in uplevel versions of all civics. the update didn't materialize a tuning knob as it did with the redesigned accord, but those hankering for one can still find it on the base head unit in lower civic trims.
other si updates include larger cupholders, easier bluetooth pairing, more intuitive steering-wheel buttons and what honda calls an "improved electronic parking brake switch." we'll have to use it to know more, as photos of the switch in the 2018 and 2019 civic si look identical. finally, the automatic climate control adds physical buttons for fan speed rather than sequestering them in an onscreen menu. (we'd just as soon use the automatic setting, but most drivers with automatic climate control apparently don't do that.)
as before, the civic si employs a 205-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder used engine . a six-speed manual transmission routes power to the front wheels through a limited-slip differential, and the suspension boasts adaptive shock absorbers. high-performance summer tires are no longer a factory option, but honda promises you can still get them as a dealer accessory.
the automaker announced in august that it would make honda sensing — a suite of technologies that include automatic emergency braking, lane-centering steering at higher speeds and adaptive cruise control — standard on all non-performance civic grades for 2019. the car's two performance variants, the si and type r, have never offered honda sensing, and that will remain the case for 2019 on the civic si, honda confirmed to today. details on the 2019 civic type r are still pending.
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